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Bucs Nation Reader Awards: Who was Tampa Bay’s newcomer of the year?

A star-studded lineup may be playing for second place, but we have to ask the question anyway

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The turnover may not have been vast, but it was impactful for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during this 2020 NFL Season.

First and foremost a change at quarterback is always a big storyline entering any season, and when the new guy is Tom Brady, the headlines get even bigger.

In fact, truth be told, Brady is expected to be the runaway winner of this reader-selected award. Just like games, awards aren’t won on paper, so maybe the Bucs Nation audience will surprise us.

We have a series of award votes coming, but this is our first of the off-season. The 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Newcomer of the Year!

TOM BRADY

TB12 arrived to the Buccaneers franchise virtually long before he arrived in person, but the hype and national media attention started immediately.

With all the expectations from some and questions from others, Brady put together a 4,600+ yard passing season with a franchise-record forty touchdowns while throwing just twelve interceptions.

NFL: Super Bowl LV-Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just about everyone said the Bucs wouldn’t be getting the ‘best Brady’, but his 2020 performance goes down as his seventh-best in completion percentage, fifth-most in passing yards, had his second-most passing touchdown total, all while landing in the middle of his career interception percentages.

Not bad for a 43-year old quarterback in a scheme known for creating a rough first season. Here’s to year two.

ROB GRONKOWSKI

Coming back to football after a year off is never an easy feat. Getting traded to a whole new team with new coaches and a new scheme makes things a bit more complicated. Of course, in Gronk’s scenario, getting traded was a part of his coming back in the first place so one fed into the other.

In his first complete season since 2016, Gronkowski started off a little slow in the production part of the game, but was an impactful player from the first snap. Early-on the season-long joke of Gronk being a blocking tight end was born.

Ironically, as the season and postseason raged on, his blocking became just as valuable as his receiving ability.

While all of his contributions won’t be recorded on stat sheets, those stats do look pretty good by themselves.

This year was his seventh with more than 600-yards receiving and more than five touchdown receptions. Of course, his two touchdown catches and leading the Buccaneers in receiving in Super Bowl LV is going to stand out the most when looking back at his first season with the Bucs.

TRISTAN WIRFS

Now we turn to the NFL Draft, and the selection of Iowa offensive tackle, Tristan Wirfs. Touted as one of the ‘Top-4’ offensive tackles available in the 2020 selection process, a lot of people were shocked when it was Wirfs who was the last one remaining on the board out of the group.

Super Bowl LV Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Georgia’s Andrew Thomas was widely considered to be the most likely addition to the Bucs roster, but the New York Giants surprised a lot of people making him the first tackle off the board.

Of course, a small amount of appreciation needs to be sent in Hall of Famer John Lynch’s direction as well. The general manager of the San Francisco 49ers certainly made Jason Licht pay for the right to draft Wirfs, but he didn’t completely fleece the team, and in the end, everyone is happy with what Wirfs brought to the team in his rookie year.

ANTOINE WINFIELD JR.

When you talk about succeeding in the NFL Draft process, the word ‘value’ is perhaps the most overused each Spring.

That being said, Antoine Winfield Jr. was such a high-value pick for the Buccaneers in the second round he was redrafted near the top of the first round by many outlets following the regular season.

Coming to the Buccaneers out of Minnesota, Winfield Jr. flexed his versatility by notching one interception, three sacks, ninety-four tackles, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in his first sixteen games.

Of course, his rookie year is going to be best remembered by the image of his making sure Tyreek Hill of the Kanas City Chiefs understood nobody in Tampa Bay forgot how happy the speed receiver was to win a Week 12 regular season match-up.

Most of our categories this week will have three nominees, but with the performances of these four men, we had to add an extra slot to see who competes for second-place.

I mean, Tom Brady is the winner, right? Maybe not? Let’s see if Bucs Nation has a surprise for us on our first reader-voted award of the offseason. Stay tuned for more in the coming days on BucsNation.com!

Poll

Who is the 2020-21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Newcomer of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    QB, Tom Brady
    (393 votes)
  • 1%
    TE, Rob Gronkowski
    (8 votes)
  • 17%
    OT, Tristan Wirfs
    (91 votes)
  • 3%
    S, Antoine Winfield Jr.
    (19 votes)
511 votes total Vote Now